Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current | View This Issue
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION KAILEE CURTIS TAKES A
FILMMAKER Page 7A SWING AT STATE
Volume 140, Issue 17
April 29, 2015
POLK COUNTY LEVY COVERAGE
IN YOUR TOWN
10 hours of
patrol are not
I have to live with
what I have, the county
I can’t afford
to pay anything
The Dallas School District’s proposed 2015-16
budget will include full-day kindergarten, music at
Lyle and Oakdale elementary schools, and addi-
tional staff and technology.
The district’s total budget is about $49 million,
including $9.4 million in maintenance bond pro-
ceeds. The district’s general fund is about $32.2
million, about $3 million more than in the current
Of that increase, $869,000 is because a new
charter school, Dallas Community School, is plan-
ning to open in the fall.
know they will be
FALLS CITY NEWS
Voters in Polk County consider factors such as safety and their own wallets when it comes to the public safety levy.
YES OR NO?
How people will vote on public safety levy is complicated
By Jolene Guzman
POLK COUNTY — The
Polk County general fund
has been characterized as a
that has had one of those
paychecks severely reduced.
Property tax revenue re-
mains the constant, while
federal timber subsidies
have become unreliable and
have fallen to an amount
that is a shadow of what they
were seven years ago.
Cuts to make up for lost
income have reduced the
Polk County Sheriff’s Office
to 10 hours of patrol per day
and has forced the District
Attorney’s Office to prioritize
When Polk County voters
begin receiving their ballots
this week or early next week
for the May 19 vote-by-mail
election, they will be asked
whether that “second in-
come” should be replaced
for five years.
The county has placed a
five-year 45 cents per $1,000
assessed value public safety
levy on the ballot — enough
to restore 22 positions in
sheriff’s patrol (12) jail divi-
sions (5), and DA’s Office (5),
pay for extra support in
community service program
and rent two additional ju-
venile detention beds.
Choosing between yes and
no on Measure 27-117 will
come down to a matter of
safety for a portion of voters,
while for others it will boil
down to dollars and cents.
For those who support the
levy, they hope to prevent
what they see as the possible
failure of the countywide
law enforcement system.
Wheeler described current
service levels as “inadequate
Wheeler said the levy
won’t restore all that was
lost, but it will bring back
24-hour patrol coverage and
prevent the DA from having
to decide which cases won’t
be prosecuted solely due to
“It will definitely make us
functional again,” said Sher-
iff Bob Wolfe. “Right now, we
are not functional. You can’t
patrol just 10 hours a day
and expect the county to re-
He added he has already
spent twice his overtime
budget to cover shifts in the
jail because of severe staffing
shortages, a problem that
will likely get worse with two
more recent departures.
Likewise, with just four
prosecutors, including him-
self, District Attorney Aaron
Felton said his office will
have to continue to priori-
tize serious crime cases
above others if more fund-
ing doesn’t come through.
“Now my office is strug-
gling to get the basic (tasks)
done,” he said.
See VOTE, Page 5A
MINET committee struggles
Finance advisory group disbanded after accusations fly
By Emily Mentzer
After months of infighting, the Mon-
m o u t h - I n d e p e n d e n c e Ne t w o r k
(MINET ) finance
committee was dis-
banded on March 26.
may be reinstated
with a new charter —
created in a work ses-
sion on April 14 —
and with new direc-
tion from the MINET
board of directors,
pending a decision to be made at the
board’s meeting on Thursday.
At the March 26 MINET board meet-
ing, then-finance committee chairman
Ben Meyer said the committee could
He said communication between
three of the five committee mem-
bers — a quorum — was made via
email about committee business — re-
placing him, the committee chairman.
Meyer said replacing that position
seems to be the No. 1 priority of the
“To me, (the committee) has become
politicized,” he said on March 26 during
the MINET board meeting. “If you want
to select a chair, there’s a proper way for
that to be brought up.”
The finance committee was tasked
with looking at MINET’s budget and
how to help it succeed financially, such
as increasing rates to keep it viable and
competitive, and reviewing audits.
Also, Independence City Manager
and MINET board chairman David
Clyne sent an email to finance com-
mittee member and Independence Fi-
nance Director Gloria Butsch with di-
If all you are seeing in Oregon’s forest are trees,
you need to dig a bit deeper. Seriously, dig.
That is what six men in the Falls City area do for
a living as truffle hunters, and The Discovery Chan-
nel is premiering a show Friday, “Unearthed,” that
examines the secretive world of black truffle for-
agers in Western Oregon.
The show, produced by Zodiak NYC for the Dis-
covery Channel, actually came about not because
of the mysterious — and potentially lucrative —
nature of black truffle industry, but because of the
landscape where the delicacies are found.
rections for the finance committee.
“At today’s finance committee, I
would like you to raise two issues as
amendments to the committee agenda
from the city of Independence,” Clyne
stated in an email to Butsch, 35 min-
utes before the fi-
was scheduled to
meet on March 24.
“First, the commit-
tee was asked by con-
sensus of the MINET
board to consider se-
lecting a new chair
since Ben (Meyer)
was appointed as
provisional chair,” he said.
Meyer and Monmouth City Manager
Scott McClure say Clyne was acting
alone in this email request, and not “by
consensus of the MINET board.”
See MINET, Page 6A
When Central High School junior Trevor Whitte-
more took the phone call, he couldn’t believe his
Whittemore, a member of Central’s golf team,
had not quite been expecting a call — more like
hoping for one.
He lost his Nike Tiger Woods golf shoes at Oak
Knoll Golf Course after practice a few weeks ago.
“I just left them outside a friend’s car because I’m
a teenager and was just thinking about going
home,” he said Thursday.
He placed signs around the course asking if any-
one found them to call him.
The Monmouth City Council approved an addi-
tional $96,000 at its April 21 meeting to complete
the renovations to the new Monmouth Police Sta-
tion, located off Highway 99W.
“For whatever reason, we didn’t have the best
estimate for the station from the architect for the
bond,” said City Manager Scott McClure.
The council had already approved $375,000 in
July 2014, but it wasn’t enough to complete the
project, McClure said.
The original estimate was $3.785 million to reno-
vate the old Boise Cascade building.
POLK COUNTY NEWS
Highway 99’s intersection with Clow Corner
Road, always a concern for its rate of fatal and seri-
ous crashes, may not see safety improvements for
Oregon Department of Transportation recently
informed the county that the funding for the proj-
ect may be pulled due to budget concerns.
The intersection was one of six ODOT included
in a 20-year plan for safety fixes between Rickreall
and Monmouth. No final decision has been made
on the intersection yet.
Take advantage of
the late sunsets with
Yoga in the Hopyard
at Rogue Farms.
Bring your own
6 p.m. Free.
Need a new hand-
bag or wallet?
Swing by West Val-
ley Hospital during
its leather and purse
7:30 a.m. Free.
Listen to excellent a
cappella music dur-
ing a benefit con-
cert for Central High
choir teacher Jeff
Witt at CHS.
7:30 p.m. $10.
Find books — and
plants — at two
sales for great deals
at Monmouth Public
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free.
See what kind of in-
teresting things you
can find at the Polk
County Flea Market
at the fairgrounds in
6 a.m.-3 p.m. $1-$5.
Join in the fun on
Star Wars Day at In-
Library as they cele-
brate “May the
Fourth be with you.”
10 a.m. -6 p.m. Free.
Learn who your tar-
get market is and
how to reach out at
MI Chamber’s PEP
talks series, “Writing
a Marketing Plan.”